General Construction 1,166 views Apr 16, 2019

Transparency is vital in order to maintain positive business relations and to ensure important payments are made without delay writes Matthew Jones. For this reason, it is crucial to have a robust but intuitive payment management system which keeps contractor and subcontractor finances above board and provides both parties with visibility of progress towards payment. Automated solutions such as Open ECX’s WebContractor takes control of key payment processes, improving subcontractors’ visibility of the status of their payment applications, for instance. This blog outlines how digital, straightforward applications for payment systems guarantee clearer visibility across business supply chains.

Maintaining healthy business operation is at the top of every company’s agenda, particularly when finances are involved. In the past year, the construction industry has seen a great deal of change in terms of payment practices and the call for evidence. This change, in part, was accelerated by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018 which shocked both the construction industry and the UK at large. After investigation, the construction giant was known to have paid subcontractors up to 120 days late.

Undoubtedly, such an event has had huge repercussions on the taxpayer, Caillion’s supply chain and its staff. Carillion’s collapse has even, in some cases, affected the amount of money UK banks loan to construction companies perhaps in fear of a similar occurence.

What is the solution?

It goes without doubt that an event such as the Carillion collapse cannot happen again. Even though its collapse is a stand-alone case, it still begs several questions on how and why payments were so late.

But, moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent similar events from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface.

It is, therefore, crucial to implement innovative solutions which ensure payments can be traced, recorded and accessed accordingly. Open ECX’s WebContractor provides end-to-end management of applications for payment in construction, ensuring complete transparency and accessibility across the supply chain. It is a cloud-based portal for subcontractors to upload payment applications so contractors can manage payments more effectively. As the portal can be accessed anywhere, it is an efficient alternative to submitting paper-based documents or sending applications for payment by emails.

Subcontractors upload and submit their applications anywhere and at any time – they aren’t restricted to their office but can complete payments onsite, at home or while travelling elsewhere.

Using a system which ensures better visibility of payment applications safeguards businesses and removes risks or threats such as litigation. Timely and accurate submission of payment applications,  means faster processing of these by contractors.. In essence, a solution such as WebContractor removes all the loopholes that a company such as Carillion were able to eschew. It makes for an honest, healthier and more productive financial system beneficial to all parties involved.